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Commander Horus: Prologue
The tiny baby was crying when the man found it on his doorstep. He picked it up and cradled it in his massive arms. He looked around for any sign of activity, but when he saw none, he looked back down at the baby. It had stopped crying, though it still whimpered softly, it's tiny lip quivering. He knew just by looking at it that it was recently born, and he also knew that would have to turn it into the Imperial Administration. He hated the idea, but he knew that he could not take care of the child by himself. He moved the blanket to see its face better. It was male, and it had the classic black eyes and pale skin of the people of Nostramo.
It reached out for him, and he let it take hold of his little finger. He turned and brought the tiny baby inside. He grabbed his phone and typed in a government number.
This is a secure channel! Called voice from the phone. State your authorization code, or suffer the consequences. The man was unfazed by the stern voice.
“Authorization code, Thunder Elite: Zero-Zero-Alpha,” he said calmly. There was a long pause, then a cheerful voice answered him.
Halt Thacker, my old friend! Said the voice. It’s been too long, brother! What have you been up to? Halt quickly explained to his friend everything, and when he finished, his friend’s voice came back, more serious than before.
I will be there tomorrow morning, brother. He said. Can you take care of the child that long, or should I come now? Halt looked down at the baby and smiled.
“He’s not going anywhere,” he said. There was a chuckle on the other end, then the line went dead.
He fed the baby some milk from an improvised bottle from a small, metal cup, and he placed a piece of thick plastic on the top, poking a hole in it. Halt had always wanted a son of his own, and a strange feeling came over him as he continued to feed the tiny baby. Love. The baby watched Halt while it ate, and it seemed to be studying him. After it had finished, Halt took it upstairs and lay the baby on the bed. It curled up next to him, which surprised him. He closed his eyes, and as he fell into a deep sleep, he felt the tiny hand gently hold his pinky finger again.
When he awoke, he looked around the room. He remembered the baby, and he turned to see it, breathing heavily next to him. He silently got up and got dressed. When he turned back to the baby, its eyes were open, staring at him, but it wasn’t crying. It was just studying him again. He stared back at it for a few seconds until the knock of the door brought him back to his senses. He gently picked up the baby and carried him downstairs. His friend was there, smiling at his old battle-brother. Halt grinned back.
“Arthur,” he said. “Thank you for coming.” He was wrapping the baby in a small blanket as they spoke.
“This is him?” Asked Arthur, and Halt nodded, a little reluctantly.
“Aye, Brother. This is him” he said, and Arthur noticed the look in Halt’s eyes.
“You know,” he said. “You could come with him, to the training cycle, and teach him.” Halt sighed and shook his head.
“You know I gave up being a soldier a long time ago, Arthur,” he said, but Arthur looked at the baby.
“Maybe,” he began. “But you could train him, like the way your father taught you.” This caught Halt off guard, and he looked down at the baby.
“Maybe...” He said, still unconvinced, but Arthur knew that his battle-brother was on the edge. He decided to make the final push.
“You’ve always wanted a son, Halt,” he said quietly. “This is your only chance.” He saw tears form in Halt’s eye as he remembered the accident.
“All right,” he said. “I’ll go- for him.” He looked back down at the baby.
“By the way,” Arthur said. “What is his name?” Halt looked up at him, confused.
“His name?” He asked, and Arthur patiently nodded.
“His name, Halt,” he explained. “What are you going to name him?” Halt looked down at the baby, the eyes were looking at him expectantly, as if waiting for its name. He looked back up at Arthur, making up his mind.
“His name... is Horus.”